Uses of Yang
Yang is very often used both in writing and speaking. It can mean 'the one' or 'which, who, whom', depending on the sentence.
- Yang biru itu pena saya. = The blue one is my pen.
- Lagu yang baru itu populer sekali. = The song which is new is very popular. → The new song is very popular.
To refer to a person or thing
When used to refer to a person or thing, yang replaces the word for person (orang) or the thing to which we are referring. Yang in this case means 'the one.'
- Yang berkacamata itu adalah ayah saya. = The one (person) who wears glasses is my father.
- Kamu boleh mengambil yang merah. = You can take the red one.
To say 'the person who(m) ...' or 'the thing that ...'
When used to say 'the person who(m) ...' or 'the thing that ...', yang is preceded by a noun.
- Orang yang saya lihat di jalan kemarin itu adalah Bu Yani. = The person whom I saw on the street yesterday was Bu Yani.
- E-mail yang panjang itu adalah dari temannya di Perancis. = The e-mail that is long was from his/her friend in France. → That long e-mail was from his/her friend in France.
Asking 'which (one)?'
To ask 'which?' or 'which one?' we can say yang mana?
- Rumahmu yang mana? or Yang mana rumahmu? = Which one is your house?
- Yang hijau. = The green one.
Taken from the book: A Student's Guide to Indonesian Grammar by Dwi Noverini Djenar